Sunday, October 09, 2005

IIPM -- let's play tag!


If you are interested in the IIPM tag, do read on. If you already know what the issues are (and you probably do), go to the last two paragraphs.

Good academic institutions, like hospitals, never advertise, except when they need to announce some significant event (usually, the start of the admissions season, or faculty recruitment). A corollary is that, anytime you see a flashy ad for a hospital or an academic institution making tall claims, you better watch out. As a great sage once observed, if something is too good to be true, it probably is.

So, a Mumbai based youth magazine went out to find out if there is any truth in what IIPM claimed in its huge, flashy ads, and -- surpise, surprise! -- found that there were quite a few, um, embellishments of truth in those ads. Rashmi Bansal blogged about it a while ago. Many bloggers, including me, have linked to Rashmi's post. We all had a good laugh.

Well, what would a real educational institution do, when it sees a PR disaster on its hands? It would first clarify its side of the story in a letter to the concerned magazine. This clarification would include how its ads are a true reflection of reality, and how the magazine's article has misrepresented a lot of things.

But IIPM seems to have got it all wrong. It is almost as if they just woke up, checked IIPM on technorati, realized that they had a headache, and decided to throw their weight around.

At a good institution, the way IIPM is handling things would earn them a D-. Their first crime is a lack of sensitivity to the market. I wonder if they do Tylenol as one of their case studies.

IIPM managers have finally -- a full three months after Rashmi's post! -- picked up the signals in the blogosphere. Now that they know we know, what do they do?

First, their 'students' visit Rashmi's blog and leave filthy and vile comments there, without a care about what their comments say about them and their alma mater. This fact alone alerts us that they are not real students, but hired thugs. Of course, if they are real students, not even the non-existent god can save them! And, second, their legal cell wrote a letter to Gaurav Sabnis (details here) threatening legal action. I hope he stands firm.

Well, this is indeed serious. We should stand by Gaurav and Rashmi. If you write for a newspaper, do please get your newspaper to investigate. As another sage said once, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Finally, if you blog, I urge you to raise this issue in your blog; this sort of a 'tag' is far better than the 23-5 tag that is floating around. If we succeed, this will achieve something of social value.

Let me quickly add that I am not the first one to have begun this 'tag'. Many have already written on it, and DesiPundit and Charu provide a fairly exhaustive list.

7 Comments:

  1. Kaps said...

    Abi,
    The part inside the box makes lot of sense. Instead of replying on the lacunae pointed out in the survey, these people have gone and made extremely distasteful personal remarks which go to prove that the IIPM expose by JAM had truth and nothing else than the truth.

    LOL about the D grading for handling things in such a manner.

  2. Sunil said...

    this is a good idea........i think desipundit should take the lead in this, given their reach.....makes total sense to me.

  3. charu said...

    absolutely true, Abi. Rashmi's post was made way bac in June. why this sudden wake up call from IIPM?! they have only been making things worse for themselves with the way they have responded to th original "threat" posed by rashmi or Gaurav's writings!
    incidentally, they have also sent Rashmi a legal notice.

  4. yatindra upadhyaya said...

    Madam:

    I graduated in engineering in 1977 and applied to IIPM for MBA course. Like others, I was instantly selected, but was told during personal interview that it is awaiting govt. approval, and I should join at my risk. I did not join. Two decades later, I learnt that the college is still not recognized! Its name sounds like IIM and its logo looks like United Nations!

  5. Abi said...

    Kaps, Sunil, Charu: thanks for the comment.

    Yatindra : thanks for your input. It is clear that if at all they have changed, it is in becoming more aggressive -- aggressive marketing, aggresive legal shenanigans, etc. Still, no government approval. And yes, their logo sucks!

  6. sameer said...

    I have pretty much all there is to read about this issue all afternoon!
    A) The expose against IIPM is well done, and if what was said was done was really done in terms of research and follow up, cannot be faulted.
    B) The eyebrows raised were essentially about the claims in the advertising content IIPM dishes out - not the standard of the Institute (although implicitly that does get questioned against their claims) or the students.

    Those for sometimes have maligned the students as well, and those against have rarely offerred concrete rebuttals.

    The whole legal notice thing was self defeating at best, and crude and hilarious at worst from IIPMs viewpoint.

    Somehow the whole debate would have benefitted from way more objectivity than is on display. Though one does wonder why the institute needed to get so vindictive and desperate about some blogs etc. Its hardly like the TOI mentioned this. Even so, a logical point by point rebuttal with evidence, or demand of evidence to be produced by JAM would've worked better.

  7. itguy said...

    Agree with what all of you say particularly about the ad part of hospitals and good ed institutions. Still with lot of blogs and articles floating around with respect to IIPM, I am shocked to find people do part with large part of their lifetime savings for this institute in 2013 also. Really surprising.